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Time Capsule Opened!

The ASU Time Capsule opened by President Ross (center) on Feb. 1 (photo by ASU's David Campbell).  
ASU's Time Capsule Opened by President Ross Revealing 50 Year-Old Contents 
- The capsule was dedicated & sealed in 1974 by President Levi Watkins and was loaded with ASU artifacts.

         By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU

ross looking at items

Members of Hornet Nation took a step back in time on Thursday, Feb. 1, as President Quinton T. Ross, Jr. opened the ASU Time Capsule (capsule), which was dedicated and sealed in 1974 by then president, Dr. Levi Watkins. A large crowd gathered on the University’s Academic Mall to watch as the historic capsule was opened, revealing artifacts that had been sealed inside for five decades. 

President Ross’s comments prior to the unveiling were reflective of the excitement exhibited by the audience as they all anticipated what the cylindrical vault might contain. 

"If you are like me, your heart is beating real fast right now because I want to see just what is in our Time Capsule, which was placed here some 50 years ago by members of the Hornet Nation Family with things that were important to them and the University in 1974," Ross said. "The artifacts placed here all those years ago reflect things happening on our campus at that time that were meaningful to them, which are just as important and meaningful to us some 50 years later."


Members of the ASU staff opened the sealed capsule and placed its contents on a table draped in the school's colors of black and gold. President Ross carefully handled each item, providing descriptions and then holding them high for all in attendance to see. The crowd included ASU students and employees, as well as members of the Board of Trustees, the local community, news media and most appropriately, members of the ASU Class of 1974 who are preparing to celebrate their Golden Anniversary in May. 


The capsule contained several sealed archival boxes that kept the contents in immaculate condition despite having been locked away for half a century. 

Stored items included such ASU memorabilia as special ASU coins and medallions commemorating events held in the early 1970's; photos of faculty, students and staff; pristine copies of Hornet yearbooks from 1971, 1972 and 1973; an aerial photo of the campus; a brochure highlighting the 32nd Magic City Football Classic; student registration cards; and so much more.

"The contents found within this Time Capsule are breathtaking and give us insight on the times and events that took place here at 'O' Mother Dear' in 1974, and allow us to see and better understand what was important to the University at that time. It also allows us to realize the incredible advancement and positive growth that has occurred for the University since then," explained President Ross. 

Joining President Ross in speaking at the event was legendary ASU baseball coach, Larry Watkins. A 1974 graduate of ASU and a member of the SWAC Baseball Hall of Fame, Watkins retired from coaching after 30 years of excellence. The event was organized and hosted by Jessica Madison, ASU’s executive director of Strategic Communications and Marketing. 


The President revealed that a new time capsule will be dedicated later this year and sealed for 50 years.

"Today's ceremony makes us think that when we dedicate and place new contents within this capsule in a ceremony scheduled later this year, we must make sure that those new items from our time are indicative and reflective of The Alabama State University in 2024," Ross said. "We will work diligently to ensure that our contents will shed light on who and what we are now for the children who are still yet to be born, but who will be ASU students in 2074 when the Time Capsule will again be opened for the next 50-year ceremony."

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.